Digital Resumes and Online Portfolios
Employers often use behavioural-based questions and selection criteria to centre on real-life examples to demonstrate past experiences, skills and transferable capabilities. Tip: Employers don’t want you to tell them what you are capable of – they want you to show them! Enter: the digital resume and portfolio. These tools work well for job seekers of all types and most job roles, including those job seekers new to, re-entering or already in the workforce.
A digital resume or portfolio can incorporate a range of content (e.g. text, hyperlinks) and rich media (eg. video, photographs, graphs, illustrations), including:
- Work or volunteering history
- Testimonials, copies of Letters of Recommendation, positive employment evaluations
- Educational and qualifications including Certificates, Certifications, Licenses and Training
- Awards, honours, recognition and achievements
- Skills summary, outlining specific hard skills (IT, software, technology, trade or technical skills), and soft skills (leadership, communication, teamwork) etc.
- Samples of work or summaries of projects, including samples of written work, reports written, screenshots of spreadsheets, flowcharts, graphs designed, an assignment/test that achieved strong results, or photographs/images of physical work/creations/projects completed (especially useful for creative and technical fields, school leavers or TAFE graduates)
- Any other supporting documentation or evidence that shows your capabilities and expertise.
This tool naturally lends itself to those seeking work within graphic and web design, photography, technology and communications, marketing and journalism, and administration and customer service based roles requiring a high degree of computer know-how and technological literacy. With clever adaptation however, they can still work just as effectively for those searching for work outside of these fields, including technical, trade or labouring based roles too. Landscaper? Try incorporating some before/after photos. Welder? Perhaps upload photos of fabrication samples, or weld test results. No matter what your occupation is (or want it to be) the key is to gather as much supporting evidence as possible – and showcase it to the best of your ability.
Not only does the digital resume and portfolio demonstrate your skills, experiences and competencies, it also highlights your:
- Personal brand, creativity and originality
- Initiative and enthusiasm
- Written communication
- Digital / technological aptitude
- Photography or design flair.
Tip: Ensure your content is proof read , just as you would for your paper resume.
If you do create a digital resume/portfolio, it is a good idea to include the link on your original (paper) resume and continue to use this resume format to apply online for jobs. If you do have the opportunity to speak to or email the hiring manager directly, then this is an excellent opportunity to provide the address to your online resume.
Need some inspiration or resources to begin crafting your digital resume or portfolio?
PortfolioGen is a free online digital resume design platform, allowing you to upload your information and select from a range of templates.
The gold mine of information and hard work put into developing the online career tools does not stop at the digital world. To avoid drawing a blank during your interview, a portfolio may be beneficial to you, not only in helping you maintain your focus and answer questions while managing nerves and interview stress, but as a point of reference and proof to back up your answers: “I have sound written communication skills. I can demonstrate attention to detail…”
Using a folder (a 3-ring binder or a plastic-sleeved portfolio work well), gather printed copies of information and develop a portfolio of your work, which may include original or printed copies of the content and media included in your digital resume or portfolio. Chances are your interviewer will ask what you have brought along with you, but if they do not – do not be shy! Offer your interviewer/s the opportunity to view samples of your work and your supporting documents.
Tip: Clearly organise and mark the information in your folder (with tabs or another method which you find effective), to assist you in locating your documents and information quickly.
Not only will interviewers be impressed by your preparation and initiative displayed in presenting this information, your performance in the interview will likely improve, as you can use your portfolio as a tool to gather your thoughts, and show your points clearly and concisely.